Macau, (November 2, 2009) -- In 1989, legendary racing driver David Brabham beat the likes of Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Eddie Irvine -- not to mention his own brother Gary -- to take victory in the blue riband Formula 3 Macau Grand ...
Macau, (November 2, 2009) -- In 1989, legendary racing driver David Brabham beat the likes of Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Eddie Irvine -- not to mention his own brother Gary -- to take victory in the blue riband Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.
To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau SAR, Brabham, this year's Le Mans 24 Hours winner and American Le Mans Series Champion, will return to Macau two decades after his memorable win there.
The youngest son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jack Brabham, who this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of his first title in 1959, brothers Geoff and Gary are also both successful racing drivers. Sir Jack competed at Macau in the famous Race of Giants, held to celebrate the 25th Macau Grand Prix in 1978, along with legends Stirling Moss, Jackie Ickx, Thailand's Prince Birabongse, and Macau's own Teddy Yip.
David Brabham still has fond memories of his win at Macau, and believes the event has lost none of its cache in the last 20 years, saying recently: "For a Formula 3 driver, Macau is the Holy Grail. I think everybody recognises it's a tough race to win. It's still seen as the place for a young driver to demonstrate his talent.
"I was fortunate enough to win Macau and Formula 3, and then I went from Formula 3 to Formula 1. Macau can do that to your career."
First getting behind the wheel at the tender age of eight, driving a Holden on the family farm at Wagga Wagga, Australia, Brabham began his racing career in karts in 1983. In what was a rapid climb up the motorsport ladder, he quickly graduated to single seater racing before moving to Europe to further his career in 1989, the year he won both the British F3 Championship and the Macau Grand Prix.
He made his Formula 1 debut in 1990 with the Brabham team, founded by his father in 1962, however the outfit struggled to keep pace with better-funded rivals, and he was afforded just a single season.
The following year, Brabham embarked upon what would be a stellar career in sports and touring cars, taking victory in the Spa 24 Hours, and the following season the 24 Hours of Daytona. The victories keep on coming, evidenced by his dream season in 2009, highlighted by an outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as claiming the ALMS title.
In addition to his own successful racing career, Brabham also runs a young driver programme, the MSA British Race Elite. This year, two of his students are entered in the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix: Sam Bird and Alexander Sims, and each hopes to achieve what his mentor did 20 years ago -- take a coveted FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup victory.
Having not set foot in Macau since 1989, Brabham believes it is time to go back and revisit the event which played such an integral part in his career: "Sometimes you get a flashback, something you read or you bump into someone, and it's always nice to think about Macau."
The Windsor Arch 56th Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 19-22, and will feature the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, the final rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, and a host of supporting races.
-credit: macu gp